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Russia Rules Out Coronavirus After Medical Scare

Sofia Sandurskaya / Moskva News Agency

Two patients hospitalized Wednesday with symptoms of the coronavirus were not found to be carrying the disease, Russia's Health Ministry was cited as saying by the state-run TASS news agency.

The two men had sparked a medical scare after arriving at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport on a flight from Shanghai with symptoms of the deadly virus.

Russian airports have stepped up screenings of travelers from China after hundreds of people were infected in an outbreak of the virus, with 17 reported deaths. Russia’s deputy health minister called the disease a biological threat to the country earlier this week.

The two passengers included a 23-year-old Russian citizen and a 20-year-old Chinese student.

They were sent to St. Petersburg’s Botkin Hospital for Infectious Diseases for medical tests after showing signs of a viral respiratory infection.

The Baza Telegram channel reported that one of the passengers had complained to medical staff at the airport about a fever.

The channel published photographs of doctors in biohazard suits lifting the passenger on a sealed stretcher into an ambulance. It said that the airport had treated areas where the passenger had been with a chlorine solution.

The patients are continuing to receive medical help in St. Petersburg, TASS reported.

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